Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Vol.192, No.3, 923-934, 2020
Construction of an Efficient Nicotinate Dehydrogenase Expression System inComamonas testosteroniCNB-2 with Multi-level N-Terminal Engineering
Nicotinate dehydrogenase (NDHase) is a membrane protein with three subunits (ndhS, ndhL, and ndhM), which is difficult to express in a functional form using common hosts such asEscherichia coli,Bacillus subtilis, orPichia pastoris.Comamonas testosteroniis a suitable microbial chassis for expressing multi-subunit membrane proteins. However, the expression of NDHase inC. testosteroniis extremely low. We have developed a systematic approach to create an efficient protein expression system inC. testosteroniCNB-2 using multi-level N-terminal engineering. We selected a strong promoter for the Mmp1 system that enables control of transcriptional strength in unconventional bacteria. This enhanced the expression of a green fluorescent reporter protein threefold. Following modification of the N-terminal Shine-Dalgarno sequence and rearrangement of amino acid sequence in the starting area of the gene encoding NDHase, enzyme activity increased from 90.6 to 165 U/L. These optimized N-terminal Shine-Dalgarno and amino acid sequences were used to enhance the expression of ndhL subunit and improve the balance expression of three subunits of NDHase, resulting in enzyme activity of 192 U/L that far surpasses the previously reported level. These results highlight a promising strategy for the development of other heterologous expression systems for challenging proteins using unconventional bacteria.